Flip the Funnel: Everything You Need to Know About Account Based Marketing

One of the biggest challenges for marketers has always been figuring out what works and establishing a clear ROI. A lot of time and money has been spent developing customer profiles, creating content, and launching advertising. While there is certainly a cumulative effect that marketing creates, it’s still a broad-based approach and difficult to measure.

Enter Account-based marketing. ABM flips the funnel. Instead of focusing marketing efforts on driving the most potential customers into the sales funnel, ABM targets smaller groups of prospects as they move through the funnel to generate more conversation.

What Is Account Based Marketing?

Account based marketing is a B2B marketing strategy where sales and marketing teams align strategy to target high-value prospects to convert them into customers. Rather than doing broad-based marketing for B2B demand generation, target accounts are identified and nurtured with personalized content designed to drive prospects through the buying journey.

ABM solutions allow you to personalize content at scale by automating much of the personalization and using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver the right content based on prior customer behavior and intent signals. This content orchestration helps nurture prospects and move them from one stage to the next in their journey. A B2B marketing platform using ABM strategies delivers more focused and qualified leads.

When sales teams reach out, they also know the pathway prospects have taken and identified their interests, so conversations can also be more focused and effective.

Overcoming Marketing Challenges with ABM

Most organizations are now employing ABM as part of their marketing channel strategy. More than 94% of companies surveyed are using some level of account based marketing strategies, although more than half say they struggle to create personalized experiences at the account and vertical level.

While it’s clear there is significant room for improvement in account based marketing execution, ABM platforms help organizations overcome common marketing challenges, including:

  • Measuring ROI: ABM prioritizes ROI to help demonstrate clear cause and effect.  
  • Marketing focus: ABM channels marketing efforts into best-fit customers that have the highest probability of converting and running a marketing program designed specifically for targeted accounts.
  • Generating engagement: Targeted customers tend to engage more often and deeply with content. Because content is personalized to their situation, there is more incentive to engage.
  • Better insight: Because you are measuring a smaller set of target accounts, you get more granular data about what works and drives prospects through the buyer’s journey.
  • Alignment: ABM forces sales and marketing teams to work together to define targets and strategies. Companies with alignment between sales and marketing teams are 67% more efficient at closing deals.

The Benefits of ABM

There are other clear benefits to account based marketing. It’s why 87% of those using account based marketing say ABM outperforms their other marketing investments.

1. Personalization at Scale

Juggling dozens or hundreds of targeted accounts is a daunting task when you are doing it manually. It can be difficult to keep up with the pace and measure effectiveness. ABM, coupled with marketing automation, can provide personalization on a larger scale.

Dynamic content with emails and landing pages, for example, can customize content for individual prospects. Dynamic calls-to-action (CTA) can be generated to help drive conversions. This allows you to create content that is automatically personalized to any size target group or individual. Your technology stack handles the heavy lifting.

2. Better Lead Routing

ABM also creates better lead routing and assignment. As prospects move through the buying journey, data about the engagement is measured at each stage. Content is delivered based on a prospect’s behavior to create a customized pathway. This data is invaluable to help understand exactly what prospects are looking for.

When it’s time for the sales team to engage, leads can be assigned to sales team members with specific expertise. This can help improve closing rates by matching the best-qualified salesperson with the right lead.

This can also save significant time for sales teams. Salespeople know the products or solutions that prospects are seeking so they can skip much of the introductory needs assessments and zero in on specific solutions. Sales teams can have a much deeper conversation right from the first outreach.

3. Audience First

Account based marketing flips the funnel. Rather than focusing on content or a series of channel initiatives, ABM places the focus directly on the prospects you are trying to reach. After identifying the best-fit prospects, content is created to match audience needs. Channels are chosen that are most likely to generate engagement.

Hyper-targeting will increase the effectiveness of your marketing messages and often at a lower cost.

Types of Account Based Marketing

Your account based marketing execution can go beyond just personalized email and blog posts. Today, ABM marketers are leveraging a variety of programs to drive engagement with their targeted prospects, including:

  • In-person and hybrid events
  • Webinars
  • Direct mail
  • Email campaigns and sequences
  • Paid advertising
  • Dynamic website content

You can also apply B2B account based marketing strategies in different ways. Most organizations use a combination of methods, such as:

1. Strategic Account Based Marketing

While in essence, ABM creates one-to-one personalized for every account, teams deploying a one-to-one ABM strategy focus on a handful of their best prospects to intensify marketing efforts.

2. ABM Lite

If strategic ABM is one-to-one, think of ABM Lite as a one-to-few model. This strategy is applied to second-tier accounts and focuses on groups or personas that share common attributes or challenges. As prospects are nurtured and show greater intent, they may move into tier-one accounts that benefit from the greater 1:1 personalization.

3. Programmatic ABM

Programmatic ABM leverages automation for a one-to-many approach. Data and predictive analytics can help create personalized marketing campaigns for hundreds or thousands of prospects.

Account Based Everything (ABX)

Today, more companies are extending the concept of B2B account based marketing deeper within the organization. This goes well beyond account based marketing execution and using an ABM platform. It’s spawned a new way of thinking: account based everything.

Account based everything (ABX) wipes out silos and helps align departments throughout the organization. By identifying and ensuring tactics are in sync, companies provide a more consistent approach to interacting with customers at each touchpoint — regardless of which team members are involved.

Want to learn more about how ABM flips the funnel and delivers more personalized journeys with your B2B demand generation? Contact the experts at Folloze today.